My father loved sweets and I guess I inherited his love for pastries, cakes, and cookies.
Duncan Hines was the youngest of six children born on March 26, 1880 in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Hines’ mother died when he was four and after her death, he spent summers on his grandparent’s farm. This is where he learned about good cooking from his grandmother.
When Hines was younger, he worked for 33 years as a traveling salesman eating in restaurants all over the country. During this time, he compiled a list of good restaurants that he sent out to all his friends instead of Christmas cards each year. People began requesting this list. Finally, when he was 52 years old, he published a book called, “Adventures in Good Eating”, which led to the book, “Adventures in Good Cooking”.
In 1947, Roy Park, an entrepreneur, put Hines’ name on kitchen products and their company, Hines-Park, made them millionaires. In 1953, Duncan Hines sold the right to his name to Nebraska Consolidated Mills which developed Duncan Hines cake mix. They later sold out to Proctor and Gamble.
A portion of Highway 31W in Bowling Green, Kentucky is named for him and called Duncan Hines Highway.
Duncan Hines was married three times, had no children, and was a chain smoker. His motto was: “Have what you want, but want what you have”. He died on March 15, 1959 at the age of 78. Duncan Hines is buried in Fairview cemetary in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Today, Duncan Hines is the second largest baking mix company in the nation.
Here is a recipe for an easy Duncan Hines dessert:
Just thought you might be interested in a little history. The next time you pick up or see a box of Duncan Hines Cake Mix in the grocery, you will know how it originated. You will also know something about the man whose name is on the box! Maybe, you will smile to yourself and think about a certain Southern Lady in Kentucky that gave you this little bit of information about a man and a cake mix!